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Will Chinese investors buy the Dodgers? Local fan reaction
A group made up of Chinese investors, led by the American founder of the Los Angeles Marathon Bill Burke, has put an enormous offer on the table to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers. Although I have some apprehensions about the team (or any American professional sports team) being owned by foreign owners, I also think it shows the global reach of MLB and American sports.
As someone who has complained about Dodger owner Frank McCourt's ownership and called for him to sell the team, I guess I'm not really in a position to question who he sells it to. In what would be a record-setting price for a MLB team, the group offered McCourt $1.2 billion. That's $1.2 billion in cash.
I think Frank McCourt needs money to properly operate the team and it's clear to me he has a long fight ahead of him against the league and this fight prevents him from getting serious money as he would have with the proposed deal with Fox Broadcasting.
The offer to buy the team would include all the team's real estate, along with all the media rights. It would solve the problem that seems to exist in that McCourt has sub-divided all the various Dodger assets to .maximize their value and to make a forced sale against his will very difficult.
Taking this money would cover all his debt on the team, provide a profit and also take care of the divorce settlement with his ex-wife. It seems to me like a win-win situation for all concerned, including us fans.
I also think the deal has tremendous value to MLB. They are looking to expand the brand internationally and China has the world's largest market of people. MLB wants that huge population to follow baseball, buy souvenirs, tune into games and bring in new revenue.
But within the Dodgers bankruptcy proceeding, the value of the deal seems be presenting a problem to MLB, as it provides a value McCourt can now use to his advantage. This value is far higher than the $800 million the team had been valued at previously.
Hey Frank, take the money.
Freddy Sherman grew up in Philadelphia, which didn't make being a Los Angeles Dodgers fan easy. He has lived in Los Angeles for twenty years, now able to follow the Dodgers openly and attends games frequently. You can follow him on Twitter -@thefredsherman.
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